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Income inequality in Switzerland remains stable after redistribution

Income inequality in Switzerland has remained stable according to a report published by Switzerland’s Federal Statistical Office.


© Arturo Osorno _ - Click to enlarge

A key measure of inequality involves dividing the income share of the top 20% by that of the bottom 20%, a measure known as S80/S20. 1 is complete equality.

In 2015, the latest figure, the S80/S20 for Switzerland was 38.2, which means the top 20% had 38.2 times the income of the bottom 20%. This however was before tax and other redistribution.

After the redistributive effects of tax and welfare, the ratio dropped from 38.2 to 4.8. As a result, the income share of the bottom 20% rose from 1.2% to 7.8%, and the share of those in the top 20% slid from 44.5% to 37.2%. The share of the 60% in the middle remained roughly the same: 54.3% before redistribution and 55.0% after redistribution.

While raw income inequality before redistribution, measured using the S80/S20, climbed significantly from 19.0 to 38.3 between 2000 and 2015, after tax and welfare payments, it rose only modestly from 4.3 to 4.8.

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Le News
The newspaper Le News is a free, quality, local English language newspaper launched on 31 October 2013. Le News fills a gap in local Swiss media for the numerous English-speakers living and visiting Switzerland. In late January 2015 we decided to put our print medium on hold and focus on our digital media presence.
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